What is PMS and How to ditch it the Natural way

Let’s talk about what (almost) any women on this planet has to deal with every month. We’ll learn how it’s impacting us on every levels.

To a certain degree, all of us (the girl tribe), know how messy our mind and body can get prior to AND during our period. Simply put: We call that PMS: PreMenstrual Syndrome. 

Mood, energy levels, stress or lack of focus are all symptoms of PMS. High chances are that if you’re reading this article, you probably know how overwhelmingly rough going through it can be.

source: Isometrik on Wikimedia.org

What is PMS?

PMS is a combination of emotional and physical changes after a women’s ovulation cycle. It usually starts around 5 to 11 days prior the first period day, and can extend until 7 days after the menses have begun.

What causes PMS?

Women are too often judged for acting out of their (very) uneven emotions. But between us, men have not a damn clue about what it’s like to have an additional biological clock comparing to them. Yes, because we do. In addition to the well known circadian biological cycles (24h), a woman’s body also function through infradian cycles (longer than a day, like a menstrual cycle lasting a month) while men’s don’t.

To all the girls out there: the good news is that we have tools available to us. That’s correct, we can make the monthly indisposition less intense, and more manageable.

A lot of internal systems are affected in a woman’s body during the different stages of this cycle.

Metabolisms speed up and slow down on different points. Mainly because of the hormonal changes operating: Oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol levels vary.

Even the chemistry of the brain changes! A study1 shows how certain cognitive skills (memory, relation in space) were impacted through the follicular and luteal phases.

More and more research is being done on PMS. Although we are not sure what’s actually causing it, hormonal changes are thought to trigger the symptoms.

For instance, before the follicular phase (the follicular phase begins on day 1 of your period) and after the ovulation phase is over, levels of estrogen are dropping down. This can trigger cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods, such as sweets, pasta, bread… The reason for that is when the level of this hormone drops, it drags down levels of the mood-moderator serotonin in the brain. And as carbohydrates help replenish it, your body is simply asking you to consume more of it.

Changes in the brain’s chemistry and deficiency in vitamins/minerals may also play a role. Too many salty foods, sugar, stress, alcohol or coffee get PMS symptoms worse.

Symptoms of PMS

Both physical and emotional symptoms, the most common ones are:

  • Sadness
  • Mood swings
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Constipation/diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Food craving
  • Tiredness
  • Pimples
  • Backaches
  • Anxiety

Severe symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, insomnia, hopelessness, or panic attacks might be the sign of a PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. Because PMDD often disrupts work or personal relationships, this condition might require professional assistance.

How to naturally treat your PMS


Track on a calendar or use an application to track your period dates with the way you feel at all levels (mood, socially, energy levels, stress, sleep, pain…). To start paying attention and understand what your body is trying to tell you. Try to do this at for at least 3 consecutive menstrual cycles. Then you can anticipate your symptoms with the tools listed down here.

Adapt your diet:

1 – Avoid too salty foods

Watch your salt intake to minimize bloating, brain fog and clumsiness. Prefer using an Himalayan pink salt or a high quality sea salt.
Why? Because the increased water retention during the premenstrual phase is causing little but impactful quantities of water retention in the belly and brain surroundings. In the brain surroundings, this creates a very slight pressure on the brain and woulda result in coordination changes.

2 – Avoid sugary foods

Prefer complex carbohydrates to keep your insulin levels balanced. Insulin is a hormone that lowers the level of glucose present in the blood. Released by the pancreas into the blood when the glucose level goes up, such as after eating. Insulin helps glucose enter the body’s cells, where it can be used for energy or stored for future use. Consuming too many high carbohydrates food causes insuline spikes. These spikes can increase the chance of developing diabetes. They can be the root of extreme fatigue and fogginess. In the long run, if insulin spikes are too numerous, they can damage pretty much every organs of the body.

3 – Avoid coffee

And other stimulating drinks or alcohol, primarily to avoid any supplementary stress disruptions. But also to help minimizing sleep disruptions and altered nutrient absorption.

4 – Get enough omega-3

Fatty acids (especially EPA and DHA you can get from fish such as salmon and mackerels). If you cannot get enough of them through ingested food, consider supplementing yourself with a fish or algae based omega-3. This will support your body with a healthy omega-6/omega-3 ratio, a VERY important point to minimize inflammation mechanisms in the body.

5 – Supplement yourself with magnesium

Studies2,3 were conducted to see if magnesium deficiency was implicated as a possible contributing factor to some symptoms of PMS. The results showed the significant decrease of PMS symptoms on the subjects after several months supplementation. Prefer a magnesium supplement made of citrate or bisglycinate magnesium as they are the two better assimilated forms in the body.

This will help in your estrogen levels balance, so you can regulate the PMS mood fluctuations. 

Adapt your training

Especially since energy levels are lower prior to and during your period. Avoid putting your body in the red zone by asking him too much with intense workouts. Doing so would increase your chances for getting injured and would potentially put you in a flat-out mode.
Instead, prefer short/moderate durations and low impact aerobic trainings. Walking, light running, yoga or swimming are all a very interesting activity to enhance hormonal balance. Balanced hormones is key here to decrease the general negative mood experienced.
On the other hand, research4 shows the beneficial impact of regular physical activity in PMS symptoms. So make sure you’re moving enough most days of the month.


Meditation is very well known to help improving mood and stress levels along with increasing focusing skills. Meditating while experiencing PMS will hugely and positively impact the way you react to your hormonal changes. More aware and more relaxed, your mind will know better how to handle situations where it feels like things are getting out of control.

Treat yourself:

We didn’t ask to have such inconvenience coming into this world being a girl. But that’s no reason to stop loving and nourishing our dear body when he’s temporarily not ready to race.
Learn to turn this period of the month into an opportunity. Turn it into a condition allowing you to take time for yourself.
It is OKAY and absolutely necessary for each of us to take care of our mind, body and soul. So we can be the best version of ourself in this world. A negative mind is not helping anyone around us… So let’s start by enjoying doing things that feel GOOD to us, as well as things that truly replenish us. This body is your only home for a lifetime: be gentle on yourself.

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